Traditionally, Memorial Day weekend signifies the beginning of summer. After plowing through winter and riding the winds of spring, America is typically ready for a break from the daily grind. This year, countless vacationers simply want to get away from home. With many conventional vacation options off the table due to the recent COVID outbreak, Americans are turning to RVing. Low interest rates, more rental options, and low oil prices are fueling a boom in the most practical way to safely get out of the house. RVing is America’s next vacation.
A Surge In Sales
Unlike the economic collapse of 2008, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a surge, rather than a decline in RV sales, rentals, and usage. A good portion of that can be attributed to the fact that vacationing in an RV checks all the boxes of what a safe, pandemic-free vacation looks like. Travelers are now looking to control more of their environment. Who they stand next to, what surfaces they touch, and who’s air they breathe all play a part in the destination, as well as the required locomotion to get there.
Reports of booming RV sales indicate that American’s have found that viable alternative in RVing. RV Dealers are reporting strong sales and rapidly declining inventory at a pace that is at or above pre-pandemic levels. Those levels are even more surprising, given the dealerships have either been closed during the lockdown, or relegated to online walk-throughs, phone sales, and sales closings by appointment only.
RV Rentals Skyrocket
The RV rental market has also exploded as first-time RVers look to “Go on a Real Vacation”, as championed by Go RVing’s latest ad campaign. Rental increases of 600-1000% are being reported by RV rental companies as home-weary families look to hit the road in an RV. Companies like RVshare and Outdoorsy, already enjoying a multi-year surge in RV rentals, are booking RVs at a previously unseen pace. More rentals also means more new RVers. New RVers have caused a surge in trip planning tools like RV LIFE Trip Wizard, and campground locators like RV LIFE Campgrounds.
Campgrounds are Opening
State parks and private campgrounds around the country are starting to open up, many in time for Memorial Day. Even with limited public amenities available at some parks and campgrounds, RVers are hungry to hit the open road and get outside. Campgrounds that are booking ahead are doing so further into the season than ever before. In Florida, a virtual mecca for RVers, campground owners there are seeing occupancy rates higher than ever for this time of year.
Is The RV Boom Sustainable?
As with any boom or fad, the question becomes, is it sustainable? In the case of RVing, it’s already been strong for several years in a row. How long will it take for us to get COVID “out of our system” so to speak? Will something else come along, just as we begin to get comfortable reverting to other forms of travel and vacationing? Time will tell. The industry expectation is that as long as travelers are concerned about their health, RVing will continue to be a strong alternative.